What happens if parents disagree over child Covid-19 vaccination?

What happens if parents disagree over whether their child should receive the Covid-19 vaccination if it becomes available?

Those aged 25 and over are now being offered a Covid-19 vaccination in England. With the rollout of the vaccine in full swing, many are wondering if it will be made available to children once all adults are covered.

Germany has recently decided to give children aged 12 and over the Pfizer vaccine sparking rumours that England will follow suit later this year.

As the vaccination is not mandatory, it requires consent. If a child is under the age of 16, a person with parental responsibility is required to consent to the treatment for them. But what happens if the parents of a child disagree on whether the child should be vaccinated?

When parents disagree about whether a child should have a vaccination or not, an application for a Specific Issue Order for the Court needs to be made to decide. The courts have made it clear that neither parents have precedence over the other.

The court will primarily consider the welfare of the child and the decision will be based on the best interests of the child. We have seen that in most cases, the courts have found vaccinations to be in the best interest of the child. They have made it clear that it would be unlikely to decide that immunisation with vaccines that are recommended by Public Health England are not in the best interests of a child.

Of course, there are some exceptions such as a development in research suggesting that there is a significant concern for the safety of the vaccine or an individual reason why the vaccine should not be administered to the specific child.

If you would like to speak to a member of the Spire Childcare team about vaccinations, Specific Issue Orders or if you would like to discuss any points in this article, please contact us on 01603 677077.